People who pay for sex with children would face increased penalties and fines under a human trafficking bill Governor Sam Brownback and Attorney General Derek Schmidt plan to introduce to the Kansas Legislature next week.
The new proposal would create a new crime for commercial sexual exploitation of a child and elevate those exploiting children in their late teens to a mid-level felony on first offense and a top-level felony on any subsequent convictions. The plan also hikes fines for convicts that would be channeled to improved victim services for victims of sex and labor trafficking. The existing Jessica’s Law provides for a life sentence for those who exploit children under 14. Schmidt said Kansas will emphasize that anyone under 18 being paid for sex is a victim, not a criminal.